Gig Ryan

Gig Ryan

Gig Ryan has published six books of poetry and her New and Selected Poems was published in 2011. She was Poetry Editor of The Age from 1998 to 2016. Her next book of poetry will be released in late 2022. (Photograph by Mia Schoen)

 

Gig Ryan reviews 'Topsy-Turvy' by Charles Bernstein

March 2022, no. 440 21 February 2022
Gig Ryan reviews 'Topsy-Turvy' by Charles Bernstein
Charles Bernstein, born in 1950, is a prolific poet and theorist of Language poetry, which arose in the 1970s in the wake of the anti-Vietnam War movement (or the American War, as the Vietnamese call it). As with similar movements in many countries, including Australia, this now semi-institutionalised poetry began as radical revolt against an established verse culture that preferred its poetry to ... (read more)

Gig Ryan reviews 'A Bud' by Claire Gaskin and 'Cube Root of Book' by Paul Magee

March 2007, no. 289 01 March 2007
Gig Ryan reviews 'A Bud' by Claire Gaskin and 'Cube Root of Book' by Paul Magee
Paul Magee’s first book, Cube Root of Book, digs through the roots of life. He revisits past incidents, examining what draws him to poetry. Magee’s accurate translations from Virgil, Horace, Ovid and Catullus, interspersed throughout, heighten his subject matter but contrast with his own less proven work. Yet these translations draw attention to his fragmented, deracinated modern life, apparen ... (read more)

Gig Ryan reviews 'Fire Season' by Kate Middleton

July-August 2009, no. 313 01 July 2009
Gig Ryan reviews 'Fire Season' by Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton’s accomplished first book, Fire Season, begins with ‘Autobiography’, where the child kicks against the perceived constraints and ambiguities of her sex: she could ‘make a half-decent boy’ only if the books she read were ‘full enough of war / or gunrunners, or treasure, or spies, or spoils / of piracy. No, I didn’t know how to hold a hammer.’ Middleton constructs a ve ... (read more)

Gig Ryan reviews 'Bestseller' by M.T.C. Cronin

October 2001, no. 235 01 October 2001
In the August 2001 issue of Meanjin, M.T.C. Cronin writes of poetry: ‘The poems are not as useful as ribs but like them do protect life and when removed from the body grow certain murmurings of the mind.’ No matter how chaotic or runic her prose pronouncements, Cronin’s poems are quirky and original at best, diffuse and repetitive at worst. Cronin continues to ‘just go on your nerve’, as ... (read more)

Gig Ryan reviews 'I Don’t Know How That Happened' by Oliver Driscoll, 'nothing to declare' by Mags Webster, and 'The dancer in your hands ' by Jo Pollitt

April 2021, no. 430 23 March 2021
I Don’t Know How That Happened by Oliver Driscoll Recent Work Press, $19.95 pb, 74 pp Oliver Driscoll’s note on his first book I Don’t Know How That Happened praises the inclusive flatness of David Hockney’s still life paintings, and it is to this inclusiveness that his poems and prose pieces aspire. Droll reported speech creates a comic atmosphere but also moves into Kafkaesque alie ... (read more)

'Simaetha', a new poem by Gig Ryan

December 2020, no. 427 25 November 2020
(‘Idyll II’, Theocritus) Where are my bay leaves and charms, my bowl with crimson flowerswhile he inexorablehas gone from my bed like a dressDistance: spells of fire wreathe you Shine on this spin or graveas sight stunned me leaves burnWheel of brass turning from my door Now wave is still and wind is stillMy heart stopped in its foundry As horses run, so we to itStarts love’s knife who ... (read more)

Gig Ryan reviews 'Starlight' by John Tranter and 'The Salt Companion to John Tranter' edited by Rod Mengham

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
Gig Ryan reviews 'Starlight' by John Tranter and 'The Salt Companion to John Tranter' edited by Rod Mengham
John Tranter has published more than twenty books since 1970. They include long dramatic monologues, a type of verse novel (The Floor of Heaven, 1992), prose poems and traditional verse forms. Starlight, his new collection, continues his ‘evisceration’, as he calls it, of other poets. His first book, Parallax (1970), signalled an important theme in his work: parallax is ‘the effect whereby t ... (read more)

'Fortune's Favours', a new poem by Gig Ryan

May 2020, no. 421 27 April 2020
1.Two birds scoop white skyinto the lank pines behind your stoneas if to say we’re with you.In front the road crofts and peaks.You can’t pinpoint the sectorbut it was adamantinelike your knowing to pull outto sail through the lock, ink a renunciationinto an oiled bay.The monstrance twinkles ahead, a wheeled pizza,while catastrophe tourism tails them with its clothes.My friends in books clashbu ... (read more)

Gig Ryan reviews 'Selected Poems 1967–2018' by Jennifer Maiden

August 2018, no. 403 27 July 2018
Gig Ryan reviews 'Selected Poems 1967–2018' by Jennifer Maiden
Jennifer Maiden’s first books, Tactics (1974) and The Problem of Evil (1975), introduced a fantastically complex and enquiring poetry, with strangely fragmentary assemblages of character wrought from conflict. Both books were partly inspired by television’s gory nightly footage of the Vietnam War. While much poetry in the 1970s was of seditiously unvarnished protest, Maiden’s was intricate a ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Rented features' by Gig Ryan

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
There’s plenty to crack onto, he says, a laundered Valkyrie stomps the DIY:I reconstitute in the shed, my notes can hit the rafters,no-one’s selfing over it, like upstairson their asbestos balustrade,a tick-off at the slightest, though their kidchatters and bounces on the planks.At last summer rises on a blue cactus.Without, it’s crumpled outside of time and dead.I’m not the stonkered stud ... (read more)
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